The witch, Hespa, has had Anwar thrown into a dungeon known as the Tombs. He’s cold. He’s alone. But does he have what it takes to survive?
Did he dare cross the witch with so much at stake? As quickly as the thought materialized, he dismissed it as folly. A man knew his limitations.
An icy chill coursed through his body. Anwar cast off his cloak. His numbed hands trembled as he attempted to warm his arms, his thighs. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, anything to keep his blood flowing.
Then he heard it. The U’rudhene. Its steady dripping into the cells, a constant reminder to the condemned that their fate rested solely in the hands of the witch.
And we arrive at the second chapter of Once Upon Nowhere: The Tombs
A foul stench rose to his nostrils, filling his senses. Must. Sweat. Fear. The Tombs, they called it, and rightly so, for few men ever emerged from the dank recesses of Hespa’s dungeon. And those who did escape with their lives pleaded for death in the end.
Anwar shuddered against bone-chilling cold. His limp form, clad in the sodden cloak, sprawled across a stone floor. The length of his captivity up to that point remained a mystery.
Continuing with the first chapter of Once Upon Nowhere, Tori confronts one of her biggest fears — a lightning storm — and allows her mind to wander. Her mother has reassured her that this time they’ve found the place where they will be able to settle down. So why would she rather be anywhere but here?
When their station wagon had turned onto a rutted road leading up to a dilapidated farmhouse, Tori knew in her heart it would never be the case. And no amount of coaxing, then or now, would convince her it was all for the best.
She buried her face in a pillow, pulled the covers over her head and squeezed her eyes shut. But her attempts to block out the night’s symphony were futile. She bolted straight up at the next deafening crack.
As Tori fretted the edge of a blanket, the beats between lightning and thunder decreased. It was close. The pounding of her heart melded into the steady sweep of rain on their farmstead.
A nearby strike lit the night sky for one brief second. Shadows scuttled to the forgotten corners of her room, which remained much the same as when she had crossed its threshold three months earlier.